Android Wear and other smartwaches are popping up left, right and center but the Pebble does things its own way. See: The best smartwatches 2014 UK.

The Pebble Steel is the start-up's second and more luxurious device and it will only set you back £179 which is cheaper than the high-end Android Wear devices like the Motorola Moto 360 and LG G Watch R.

With an understated square shape, the Steel isn't the thinnest smartwatch around but it is surprisingly light so has minimum impact on your wrist when on.

As the name suggests, the watch is made of machine grade stainless steel case comes in a choice of Brushed Stainless or Matte Black. It's great to see a choice of leather and metal straps included in the box.

The watch is waterproof, much like rivals, but it's water resistant to a depth of five meters which is more than we've seen elsewhere.

Unlike most smartwatches, the Pebble Steel shuns a touch screen and opts for an e-ink display like the original. The display is quite small compared to rivals and low resolution too so you'll have to enjoy the retro style.

Since it's an e-ink screen, it's always on and only uses battery when the backlight is switch on and you actually change something on the display. This means the time is always displayed but doesn't consume battery power.

Pebble claims a 5-7 day battery life for the Steel and we can vouch for it. In fact, we've found the Steel capable of lasting longer than a week with light usage.

The device runs on its own software and navigation is simple and intuitive via the four physical buttons. You can connect it to iOS or Android over Bluetooth.

There are plenty of apps available and the Steel can run any app which is/was available for the original Pebble. There are also hordes of watchfaces to choose from and you can switch between them on the fly.

As standard, the Pebble Steel will display notifications from the device it's connected to and has the ability to control music playback and track fitness like steps. There are thousands of apps to choose from which you can browse via the app.

The downside is that you're limited to eight at once. The app has a 'locker' section to store more than you might only need occasionally, though which is a better system than before.

The Pebble Steel may not have a high-res and colourful screen and the square design may not be for everyone, but we think it's stylish and the e-ink display has a retro charm and ensures excellent battery life. It's a good alternative to Android Wear and other rivals.